Tokyo stocks open higher as investors wait for US vote

Tokyo, Japan | AFP | Tuesday – Tokyo stocks opened higher on Tuesday as the dollar held steady against the yen with a growing wait-and-see mood ahead of US midterm elections.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.63 percent or 138.93 points to 22,037.92 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.47 percent or 7.74 points at 1,648.13.

"A wait-and-see mood is likely to grow on the Tokyo market today ahead of US mid-term elections," Okasan Online Securities said.

The dollar was holding firm, changing hands at 113.23 yen against 113.20 yen in New York Monday afternoon, ahead of polls seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump’s performance since taking the White House.

Most experts expect the Democrats will win the House of Representatives, while the Republican party will hold onto control of the Senate.

"If so, we can look forward to Trump going harder on trade, looser–still fiscal policy and even more vociferous attacks on the Fed," Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign exchange strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a note.

Investors hardly reacted to Japanese government data that showed household spending slipped 1.6 percent year-on-year in September, confirming consumption remains slack.

In Tokyo stocks trade, SoftBank rose 2.52 percent to 8,968 yen after announcing stellar half-year earnings. The company’s boss condemned the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but confirmed he would continue to do business with the Middle Eastern kingdom.

Toyota was up 0.64 percent at 6,536 yen ahead of its release of earnings later Tuesday.

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